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IF YOU GREW UP IN LAKELAND, FLORIDA – For those born before 1970

Are you a boomer who grew up in Lakeland, Florida? Just thought this would be a fun thing to blog─reminisce and appreciate what was, what is and what will never be again – in our own hometown. It’s really simple─What or who was here when you were growing up, but is no longer? How many good, and not so good memories will we recall?

How long can we keep this going?


Teen Midway

McCrory’s and their cherry Cokes

Kress’s and their vanilla Cokes

Old men playing checkers in the park

Slim’s corner store, across the street from LJHS

Lake Morton Elementary School

Rochelle High School

Hazel Haley, Ruth Hall Brown, Nurmi Nelson, Coach Teadt and Maxine McIntyre

The ability to drive all the way around Lake Mirror

One-way streets downtown

Fox & Hound, Morrison’s Cafeteria, The Empire, Colony Shop, Butler’s Shoes

The papier-mâché stork in the children’s department of Penney’s downtown

The oak canopy over Munn Park, as we fed the pigeons and watched the kois in the fountain

The Southgate arches

Sock hops at “the” Civic Center on Lake Mirror – with ALL the original Rogues playing (RIP Willy)

The Palace and Lake Theaters, the Filmland and Lakeland Drive-Ins

If you have pictures to share, email them to carolyn@orangeblossomwishes.com!

About Carolyn S. Hennecy

Carolyn S. Hennecy - a/k/a southern blonde traveling with sense of humor and a passion for cheesecake, known to be heard several times a day declaring, "JUST PEACHY!" Advocate for domestic violence awareness; member of Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay Speakers Bureau; spokesperson for American Heart Association; motivational and inspirational speaker; Author of ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused - Her Victorious Journey to Freedom (Carolyn's memoirs), she will be featured on the ABC Action News (WFTS Tampa) Emmy award winning primetime special "Taking Action Against Domestic Violence" scheduled to air Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.


16 thoughts on “IF YOU GREW UP IN LAKELAND, FLORIDA – For those born before 1970

  1. The terrace Hotel! and dont forget the hangar dances!

    Posted by Kathleen | December 24, 2011, 2:23 am
  2. The boat races on Lake Moryon or Hollingsworth I forget which lake! We would here the noise on a Saturday from our house just a few blocks away and run down to watch! We flew kites at Florida Southern College and watched the July 4th parade by the lakes. The swans were safe to roam the lakes, too! Cartoons at the Polk Theatre, wow. I was at the grand opening of Lakeland`s first Taco Bell! And who could forget the colored tiles at Southgate!

    Posted by Kathleen | December 24, 2011, 2:19 am
  3. Submarine races on Lake Hollingsworth where teenagers could go parking.

    Sunday skateboard races down Woodwind Dr (I believe) off Lakeland Highlands Rd.

    Art Show at Southgate Shopping Center of all the students of Mr. Thomas of Southwest Jr. High.

    Southgate Shopping Center was closed on Sundays.

    Posted by Wanda (Gilbert) Maffet | October 16, 2011, 10:39 pm
  4. We can add to our list of “memories” the static display train at the park next to the hospital. I can’t BELIEVE they took it away. 😦 SHAME on those in “power” who made the decision without the vote of the people! I didn’t know about it till it was gone!

    Posted by Brenda Drawdy Cross | September 3, 2011, 6:37 pm
    • I kind of thought the same until I found out the poor engine was deteriorating beyond anything we could afford to repair. It was sent to a nice new home… historical train museum in North Carolina. Sometimes we have to let go of things we love for their best interest and wellbeing.

      Posted by Carolyn S. Hennecy | September 3, 2011, 10:00 pm
  5. Grigg’s Steakette and Burger QUEEN…

    Posted by Sherry Woods Russell | August 15, 2011, 2:06 pm
  6. I remember: fish houses in lake parker, the chevy dealership &the yamaha dealer one block so. of lakeland jr. high on no. florida ave,JM fields, the mummy they found while building Montgomery Ward, drag racing late friday & saturday am, in polk city, Salty Sol Fleichman channel 13 am fishing report, fishing from the little boats around lake Morton, crusin memorial blvd & so.florida ave listing to 8 tract tapes I heard it through the grape vine, waiting for streakers in sears town parking lot. sitting @ steak n shake watching friends cruz by, shooting pool @ south side billards ?, the TG&Y store ,weekends @ christina park hill climbing on motorcycles , honda 305 dream & 90, the bamboos in no. lakeland close to the filmland drive in, the fighter jet crash on knights griffen rd.

    Posted by Tom Winkler | August 13, 2011, 8:36 pm
  7. Yes the best milkshakes from Slim’s……he put a raw egg in em…

    The 5 and 10 toy store several doors north of Montgomery Wards downtown….It had creeking wooden floors and bins of toys (made in Japan)

    Battle of the Bands in Searstown

    Going to parties where the whole house was lit only with a black light.

    After seeing Disneyland in Calf. in 1963….(thinking Fla would be a good place for another one.) I was ten at the time.

    Remember when you had to sit out side at McDonalds in desk chairs. hamburgers were $ .15 small cokes $.10 large cokes $.15

    Crusing Memorial Blvd …Between McDonalds and Steak & Shake. (muscle cars)

    Driving to Mulberry to see Billy Graham on Easter Sunday….

    Posted by Greg Straight | May 9, 2011, 11:13 pm
  8. Carey, I had forgotten about Buddy Penn’s raring wake up call. So good! Would we have ever made it through our teens without WONN?? How about these?

    Mayhall Auditorium

    A&W w/their little baby root beer mugs for us kids

    Pryor’s Family Style Restaurant on Pine Street, with boarding house tables and big crocks of various foods

    The Publix on Massachusetts

    No more 2-lanes for Memorial Boulevard, Massachussetts Avenue, Lakeland Hills Boulevard, Cleveland Heights Boulevard, Florida Avenue… and no more “Dakota Street”

    Sedmera’s Hardware, Myrick’s Menswear, Maas Brothers (LOVED their restaurant) and The Foxfire

    THE mulberry tree in Mulberry

    Sand Mountain

    Florida Tile complex on Lake Wire

    Posted by Carolyn S. Hennecy | May 3, 2011, 2:02 pm
  9. The City Swimming Pool next to Morrell Hospital,
    The Orange Cup Regatta, Banana Man Morgan, The Ice House on So. Florida Ave.

    Kiddy Land @ the Lakeland Drive-IN while dad lit the PIC “That Stuff just Kills Me” mosquito coil.
    The Roller Rink on N. Massachusetts Ave.
    The Star Spectaculars @ The Civic Center, Lake Hollingworth (at night !)
    WONN and Buddy Penn who would play Mule Skinner Blues every morning @ 6:30 and holler out “Get UP you 6:30 getter uppers you!
    Smoke House Serenade every Sunday night on WONN.
    Nathan’s Mens Store with all of your “Cub Scout” uniforms etc.
    City Bus Advertisement Song ” Run down to the corner and jump onto the bus you can ride to town with us, you never have to honk or frown when you ride the bus” Honk, Honk!
    Carnival @ South Gate Shopping Center and the HUGE Spot lights that be seen from miles away.
    The voice of the Florida Gators, Football, Mr Ted Covington !

    Posted by Carey Blanton | May 2, 2011, 11:09 pm
  10. I remember my kindergarden teacher taking us on a “train” ride from the train depot downtown (later where we caught the city bus for Lakeland Jr. High). We went all the way to Auburndale on the train and thought it was the best !

    Posted by Cindy Ivey Cope | May 2, 2011, 10:24 pm
  11. Attenbergs Gas & Groceris on the Southside (sold candy cigarettes), Early Bird Record Shop where Harry’s is downtown, Toytown, Hobby Harbor, Jarlin & Mitchell & Thom McCans Shoes WITH PERSONALIZED SERVICE , Colony Shop with shirts with fairy tales AND Villager A-Skirts (boy I did a lot of babysitting to buy those). The best is running away with my boyfriend at 5 to get married down on the promenade at Lake Mirror when Blinky the Alligator was around. Living on Lemon Street before Bartow Highway. Cleveland Heights Soap Box Derby!!

    Posted by Sylvia Hart | May 1, 2011, 10:14 pm
  12. Gong to Monkey Wards with Dad ALL the way across town!!!

    Posted by Sylvia Hart | May 1, 2011, 9:11 pm

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